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The town is 30 km. southwest of Chełm and 31 km. north of Zamość.
It's also 52 km. SE of Lublin. The first mention of Krasnystaw Jews is in 1548.
However Jewish merchants were visiting the town before that, in the 15th century.
In 1394 Krasnystaw was granted the status of town, gaining economic advantages,
including the right to set up a weekly market and three fairs a year. Rapid growth was due
mainly to trade connections with Danzig (Gdansk), which took place over the Wieprz River,
which spills into the Wisla River. Through the river, the town became a station for barges
loaded with grain, wood, and commercial goods. In 1569 there were 339 wood houses.
From the beginning, the Krasnystaw Jewish community was struck with antisemitism in the
town. From 1554 to 1862 there was a ban on Jewish settlement there. It wasn't until
1862 that bans on Jewish residency were removed from the town. Still, some Jews
managed to reside there. In 1827, 11 Jews are recorded as living in the town. By 1857,
the number grew to 151 Jews out of around 3,500 total residents (or four percent).
Out of 4,750 residents in 1897, 25 percent -- or 1,176 -- were Jewish. Eighty percent of
the local trade was produced by the Jewish community. By 1921, the community had
around 8,500 residents, including 1,754 Jews. There were approximately 2,200 Jews living
in Krasnystaw when the war broke out, which represented 20% of the total population.
A suburb of Krasnystaw called Krasniczyn had 116 inhabitants in 1676 and the Jewish
population built their houses mainly at the back of the eastern side of the market, where there
was also a synagogue. In 1734, a fire in Krasniczyn destroyed the house of prayer, mikveh,
and nine houses located in the vicinity of the market. In 1756, there were 14 Jewish properties
(with houses) in the town, as well as three squares and stalls. Fifty Catholic and 24 Jewish
houses were in Krasniczyn in 1777. In 1910, the settlement had a wooden synagogue for
approximately 300 people, mikveh and a Jewish cemetery. The synagogue district included
the villages of Anielpol, Boncza, Brzeziny, Drewniki, Czajki, Majdan Surhowski, Surhow, Wojciechow.
The Nazis captured the town on Sept. 14, 1939. A ghetto was established and imprisoned
most of the 1,690 Jews still living in Krasnystaw as well as some Jews from Germany and
Czechoslovakia. The ghetto was established in August of 1940 and lasted until August of
1942 with a total of 2,000 prisoners. The Judenrat was established at the beginning of 1940.
Michael Szolson, a prominent leader of the Krasnystaw community who also was on the
Jewish council (Judenrat), was among the first Jews deported and murdered at Sobibor after
Judenrat chairman Lipe Bloch and he got into a dispute. His date of death is May 15, 1942. In
May, 1942 almost 3,000 residents of Turobin, Poland were relocated to Krasnystaw and
subsequently taken to Sobibor. In April and May of 1942, the Jews of Krasnystaw were sent
to the Belzec and Sobibor Death Camps. Few survived.
In October 1942 the Germans transferred remaining Krasnystaw Jews to the Izbica ghetto. Jews
in the Izbica transit ghetto were typically shot on the spot or relocated to Belzec's gas chambers.
In 1941 the synagogue at 3 Czyste Street was destroyed. The Jewish cemetery on Chelm
Street, founded around 1890, still has between five and ten visible grave stones. Most of the
members of the Jewish police were friends or relatives of Judenrat members. The Jewish police
included Bentzion Rozenblat, Moshe Szmaradz, Josef Zylbercan, and Zanwel Mittelman. Near
the Borek Forest the Nazis operated a labor camp which housed Jews deported from
Czechoslovakia to Krasnystaw. Almost all of them were executed there.
Historic sources list the names of some of the residents of Krasniczyn. In 1910, these included
Abram Borek, Abram Cukier, Sara Cukier, Berko Cukier, Lajla Aizenberg, Jankiel Bliat, Frankel
Bubiel, Moszko Tuchman, Tapchip Aizenberg (age 38), Jankiel Warman, Herszko Rajc (age 38),
Szmul Gros, Abram Fiterman, Herszko Tuchman, Abram Hersz Zimner (age 50), and Rabbi Rafal Kliger.
The following people Jews lived in nearby villages of synagogue district: Benjamin Zilbersztajn from
Uchanie, who lived in Anielpol; Simcha Sziblowicz in Boncza, Majer Szmul Blat from Izbica, in
Brzeziny; Majer Lichter from Izbica in Drewniki; Szloma Ehrlich and Chaim Goldfarb in Krasniczyn
Aleksandrowski, Szloma Gdala Blatt and Abram Mangiel in Surhow; Berek Taj in Majdan Surhowski,
and Lejzer Bergier from Grabowiec and Wulf Litman from Izbica in Folwark Wojciechow.
Krasniczyn had 610 inhabitants in 1921 and 540 of them (83%) were Jews. There were five cheders
in the town. The Jews owned most of the shops and craft workshops (tailoring, leather stitching),
as well as slaughter houses, bakeries, hulling mills and a small furniture factory. Occupations in town
during the pre-war period included: Hersz Fuks and C. Samet in groceries; Sz. Gros and
P. Wajcenberg and S. Apel in egg selling; The Becher and Lichtensztajn families had slaughter-
houses; Icek Goldwasser, the wealthiest man in town, had a haberdashery, as did G. Cukier,
B. Szydlowicz, Sz. Zymner, and J. Sylberman. Ready-made suits were created by H. Moskal
and L. Rubinsztajn. Mr. Fuks had carbonated waters. Processed grains were sold by B. Becher,
Sz. Fuks, and Sz. Gros, and leathers by S. Klajner, D. Zylberman, and Ch. Goldbard.
Additionally, crop trade was conducted by J. Becker and M.J. Blat; cattle trade by A. Cukier,
forest explorationby A. Aszkenazy, J. Nirenblat, and M. Becher. A tailor shop was run by
Ch. Birbaum, A. Gros, N. Helfman, K. Lederman, D. Moskal, and H. Moskal. A bakery was run
by J. Cukier, a glazier shoppe by Mr. Warman, and a leather-stitchery shoppe by Aron Zimner.
After the outbreak of the Shoah, the Krasniczyn Ghetto was established in 1940. In nearby
Surhow, a labor camp for Jews from Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Czech Republic,
was established. The camp was formed with the purpose of regulating and meliorating the
Wojslawka River. It was dissolved in August 1942 and the imprisoned Jewish slave laborers
were deported to the gas chambers at the Belzec Death Camp.
While only 500 Jews originated in the Krasniczyn Ghetto, by March 1941 the number became close
to 1,000 when 500 Jews were transported from Czechoslovakia to the Krasniczyn Ghetto. But by
April, the number again decreased after the transport to Belzec. Additionally, 200 Jews from Izbica
came to the Krasniczyn Ghetto in April 1942 and approximately 1,000 Jews from the Third Reich
on April 28, 1942. Another group of Jews was deported to Krasniczyn on May 3, 1942.
In May 1942 the German military police gathered 327 Jews in front of the school building. Afterward,
they were driven on foot to Krasnystaw (17 kilometers from Krasniczyn) from where they were
transported by a train to the gas chambers at Belzec. The Krasniczyn Ghetto was liquidated in June
of 1942. The Germans killed 200 Jews on the local cemetery and those who survived were driven
on foot to Izbica from where they were taken to the gas chambers at Sobibor Death Camp.
Among those who were forced to walk to Izbica were: Icek Goldwaser, village administrator
Nuta Helfman and Rabbi Szmuel Oselka with his wife. After the Jews from Krasniczyn had been
deported, the Germans destroyed all Jewish properties, together with the synagogue.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
[Surnames] [History] [Education & Culture]
[Organizations and Associations] [Wikipedia - Krasnystaw]
[Holocaust] [Borek Forest Labor Camp]
[Cemetery] [Synagogue] [Notable Residents]
[List of Martyrs (incomplete) from the Yizkor Book]
[Family Research in Southeast Poland]
Click to subscribe to Krasnystaw
Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project
Learn more at the Sobibor Remembrance Project
Mechel Kanner, top row, 5th from left; Uri Szok, middle row, tall man in the center.
Meyer Ziefer, front right (on the ground); Meyer Drescher, immediately in front of Uri Szok.
A Jewish family from Gorzkow near Hrubieszow.
from Wierzbica, Dawid Hochman from Wierzbica, Szajndla Shochet, Yehoshua Erlich, Israel and Avraham Leichter, Manya Lang,
Hadassa Reichensztejn, and Yosel and Chanale Goldberg. Those whose towns are not mentioned were from Izbica.
Escapees from the Sobibor Death Camp, including several from Izbica near Krasnystaw.
Two Holocaust survivors from the Krasnystaw area, Arnold and Ester (Knobel) Tuzman, created
a fund hosted by Gratz College in Pennsylvania to help school educators teach about the Holocaust.
Contributions in their loving memories may be sent to the Arnold and Esther Tuzman Holocaust
Education Fund, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA 19027 or online.
Some houses in modern Krasnystaw.
Views of modern Krasnystaw.
View of modern Gorzkow, center of the city.
What is left of the Jewish cemetery in Gorzkow.
Join the Krasnystaw group on Facebook!
Town of Krasnystaw:
An account of Gorzkow during the Holocaust
Izbica near Krasnystaw
Photos of Krasnystaw Today
Families of Krasnystaw:
Majdan Tatarski Ghetto Victims (Lublin) from Krasnystaw and Gorzkow:
Chana Nirenberg, nee Bergajzen
(source: Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN)
Chaja Rojza Cynamon
Hudla(?) Mirla Cynamon
Moszek Lejba Lejwand
Rabbis of Krasnystaw:
Josef Malowertaw, 1860
Yosef Reznik, cantor
Rafael Rozenzwajg, cantor
Survivors of Gorzkow:
Judel (Judka) Goldsztejn
Brucha Betty Honigman
Frida Sztuden (Shtuden)
Hershel Zimmerman (Harold Werner)
Survivors of Krasnystaw:
(includes people from Zolkiewka)
Nuchem Norman Adelsberg
Golde Fingerhut Blustein
Ber "Dov" Freiberg
Leibel Leon Feldhendler
Maria Binder Greber
Esther Knobel Tuzman
Raquel Lew de Latarowski
Irving Schock (Szok)
David Stundzeiger (video testimony)
David Szarf (Scharf)
Shalom Weitz (Wajc)
Pola Zacman (or Zalcman)
Jesse Eisenberg, American actor
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, American entrepreneur
- Jan Osiewicz hid the Knobel family of three
- Karol Olecha hid the Honigman family of four at Wielkopole
Krasnystaw During the Holocaust
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Krasnystaw
Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Gorzkow
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Krasnystaw
Remember Your Family:
The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
Guide to the YIVO Archives
Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
JewishGen Family Finder
JewishGen Holocaust Database
JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families
U.S.: Aaron, LublinJewish@gmail.com